The Force is strong with Disney’s popular new attraction Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Guests eagerly await their turn to join the Resistance in an epic battle against the First Order, in this high-tech, unique experience.
With its outpost theme, immersive design, and amazing attractions, Guests have been heading straight to Batuu to have an experience in a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has proven to be a fan-favorite addition to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resorts, with Imagineers creating a galactic land full of secrets.
But what technology is actually behind Disney’s most popular attraction – a ride that often sees wait times of over 3 hours?
Well, we’re here to reveal the fantastic secrets behind the magic of Rise of the Resistance!
Based at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance fast became the hottest (virtual) ticket in Disney theme parks when it debuted in 2019.
The Outer Rim planet of Batuu opened to Disney Park Guests on May 31, 2019 at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and on August 29, 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park in Orlando, Florida to mixed reviews from diehard Star Wars fans.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge replaced the majority of the Park’s former Streets of America area, including the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure attractions.
The Star Wars-themed land is set between Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) in the Star Wars timeline, and features two attractions – Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and the continually popular Rise of the Resistance.
Wait times have been consistently high since the virtual queue was removed last year, with Guests excited to see sequel trilogy characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and the adorable droid BB-8. And the immersive technology usually blows Guests away.
And now, we have some insight into this mind-blowing technology. Monorail Supply Co revealed on TikTok two interesting secrets behind the attraction, which open Guests eyes to the magical workings of the ride:
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The first video reveals how Disney creates the illusion of Kylo Ren physically being in front of Guests when, in fact, Disney is “controlling our minds like a Jedi“:
Kylo Ren is a projection but the lightsaber is a physical object. How is it possible for a projection to hold onto a moving, physical prop?
Well for the starters a bright light is shined in our faces to conceal the illusion. Kylo is projected onto a flat shape on a sled that moves towards us. The shadow that conceals his hand is enough to conceal the mechanism that swings the saber with the animation.
The second video has a great demonstration of how the shuttles work at the beginning of the Disney attraction:
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♬ Duel of the Fates ( Star Wars) – Rob Starr & The Hollywood Singers and Orchestra
The second video showcases the operational side of the ride, revealing the creative Imagineering to help get more Guest flow:
Have you ever noticed that you enter the shuttle through the same door at the base as you do when you exit the Star Destroyer on Rise of the Resistance? How is this possible? The answer is just below your feet.
There are 3 shuttles operating at once and they all move on a giant turntable. The Imagineers cleverly synced the movement of the animations and the rotation of the turntable by moving it in spurts. You can see the edge of the turntable when you are boarding the ship. These Jedi mind tricks are really amazing, aren’t they?
Mind-blowing forward-thinking from Imagineers, right? These videos truly make us awe-struck at the technology and workings of attractions at Disney Parks, with the creativity and innovation that goes into building these lands always improving.
From the ghostly effects of Haunted Mansion and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to the surprising way Space Mountain is made to feel faster than it is, there is always a Disney secret to be discovered.
In Walt Disney World, Guests can purchase Lightning Lane to skip the standby queue for Rise of the Resistance. After paying $15 to ride the attraction, however, Guests are expressing disappointment lately when certain features do not work. With multiple rooms, numerous animatronics, and these incredible secrets, the ride relies heavily on an array of technology – but often goes ‘down’.
More on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Disney’s official description of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance reads:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a massive attraction with multiple ride systems that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World Resort… or anywhere else in the galaxy!
Accept a Mission from the Resistance
The Resistance needs your help! Hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost, the Resistance is gathering recruits for a secret mission.
With the First Order desperate to extinguish the spark of the Resistance, the mission is bound to have unexpected twists and turns. When your transport is captured by an imposing First Order Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers—and even Kylo Ren!—you’re going to need all the help you can get. Fortunately, a covert team of Resistance fighters—including Rey and BB-8—is at the ready to give you a fighting chance to escape… and a chance for the Resistance to rise.
Prepare for a thrilling, first-of-its-kind adventure!